Valencia record another comfortable win over BATE
Champions League Group F, Mestalla - Valencia 4 (Jonas 26, Soldado 29, Feghouli 51, 86) BATE Borisov 2 (Bressan 53, Mozolevski 83)
Valencia eased towards the knock-out stages of the Champions League with a 4-2 home victory over BATE Borisov at the Mestalla.
The victory comes fresh on the back of the reverse fixture which the Spanish side won 3-0 away in Minsk last time out. The result in Valencia, combined with Bayern Munich's 6-1 demolition of Lille, sets up the next game as a play-off for top spot in the group as the Spaniards take on the illustrious Germans.
After a morale boosting victory over high-flying Atletico Madrid in the league at the weekend, Valencia were full of confidence going into this game and were two goals to the good after 30 minutes.
The first goal came after smart work and an emphatic finish by Jonas, although replays showed the Brazilian handled the ball in the build-up.
BATE were quickly two goals down as Roberto Soldado confidently slotted home a penalty into the bottom left-hand corner of Andrei Gorbunov's goal in the 29th minute.
The visitors could again feel hard done by as the initial contact by Artem Radkov on Andrés Guardado for the foul was made just outside the box.
Valencia captain Soldado was lucky to still be on the pitch to take the penalty as in a moment of madness he had earlier appeared to throw a punch into the torso of BATE defender Maksim Bordachev.
The hosts played out the end of the first period at half-pace but came out for the second half looking to kill the game quickly. Their plan seemed to have succeeded when Sofiane Feghouli made it 3-0 after some great work in the middle of the pitch by Fernando Gago.
However, BATE were not quite ready to wave the white flag, as an in-swinging cross from Renan Bressan on the left-hand side of the attacking third evaded everyone and sneaked in under the Valencia keeper, Vicente Guaita, who was distracted by Bordachev.
Rather than take the game to Valencia after the goal, the BATE players began to lose their composure with three players going into the book in rapid succession. The referee's swift action quickly brought the game under control and Valencia looked to see out the tie, adopting their usual keep-ball tactics.
A goal from nowhere in the 83rd minute by BATE's Dmitri Mozolevski briefly gave the visitors a glimmer of a famous comeback but those hopes were soon quashed as Feghouli got his second and gave the scoreline a more balanced reflection of the game as a whole.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Sofiane Feghouli - Valencia: Two well-taken goals and a lively performance throughout by the man from Algeria.